Calvados Chicken with Swiss Rosti

Calvados Chicken

This meal came to me because of a Facebook query by my cousin who lives in Singapore.  Should you parboil or cook raw potatoes in Swiss Rosti?  I told her I didn’t know, I had never made Rosti (though I have made hashed browns, which are somewhat similar) but I would give it a try.  I’ve read dozens of Rosti recipes and some say parboil, some say raw.  Some say use waxy potatoes, some say use floury russets.  This was my first try and the result was pretty good but possibly could be improved upon.  I’ll report on my next try as well.  I then had to find something to accompany the Rosti.  I have lots of apples, so Chicken with Apples seemed like a logical choice, especially if I wanted to stay on the European content.  The Calvados region of France is famous for its apple brandy.  If you have Calvados brandy, all the better.  I didn’t but the result was just as good with Mexican brandy.  This is definitely not a low fat meal, but oh-so yummy.

 Caramel applies

  •  6 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices (yellow delicious recommended)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup apple cider

Put all ingredients except cider in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Mixture will start to brown on the bottom, but do not let it burn.  When the mixture becomes nicely browned, add apple cider and cook over medium heat, uncovered for about 5 more minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.

 Rosti Potatoes

This Rosti was very tasty (well of course, it has bacon in it!) with a nice crisp exterior.  I found the interior a little too gummy (probably in part because I forgot to rinse the potatoes of extra starch) and had to fry it over medium –  rather than high – heat to ensure that the interior was fully cooked.  Next time, I’ll try using the more floury russets and experiment with parboiling the potatoes first.  That will allow me to fry the Rosti at a higher temperature for less time and it will also absorb less oil

  • 2 pounds waxy potatoes
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 4 thick strips of bacon
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp each olive oil, butter or bacon grease

Grate the potatoes.  Rinse them of their surface starch and drain them in a colander.  Put them in a clean dish towel, wrap the towel around the potatoes and, holding them over the kitchen sink, wring out as much moisture as possible (you may extract as much as a cup of liquid).

Finely chop the onion and dice the bacon.  Mix potatoes, onion, bacon, cornstarch, salt and pepper together well with your hands. 

Heat a 9-inch non-stick skillet over high heat.  Add half the oil and butter/bacon grease and heat til very hot  Add potato mixture and pack well into a flat cake.  Turn heat down to medium and cover.  Cook covered for about 10 minutes.  Check the bottom by lifting the edge with a wide flat pancake turner.  If it is nicely browned, place a large platter (wider than the skillet) sprayed with non-stick spray upside down over the top of the skillet.  Using two potholders flip the skillet and platter over together so that the Rosti lands on the platter, uncooked side face down. 

Add the remaining oil and butter/bacon grease to the skillet.  When the oil is hot, slide the rosti, off the platter back into the skillet so that the uncooked side is down.  Fry Rosti another 10 minutes, this time uncovered, or until the underside is nicely browned.  Slide the rosti back onto the platter and cut it into wedges.

Calvados Chicken (start making this while the Rosti is frying on its first side)

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast or thighs (if breasts, cut into serving sized pieces)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup non fat half and half
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions

Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and lightly season it with salt and pepper. When the butter is foaming, add chicken.  Brown chicken, turning pieces once.  When chicken is browned, add cider, brandy and lemon juice.   Continue cooking the chicken uncovered, occasionally spooning the liquid over the chicken until the meat is no longer pink when cut through the thickest part.  Remove chicken to a warmed plate.  Rapidly boil down the juices until there is only about 3 tbsp of liquid left.  Add the half and half and stir until large shiny bubbles form and sauce is reduced in half.  Add green onions and pour sauce over the chicken.  Serve with wedge of Rosti on the side, a scoop of caramel apples, and steamed peas, green beans or a salad for a vegetable.

Makes 4 servings. 

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